Millennial (mil-len-nial)- noun
Wanderlust (wan-der-lust)- noun
We read about it every day. What Millennials are doing, what they are not doing, what they are spending money on, and what they are not spending money on. Since there are more than 83 million Millennials in the country, it is no wonder this generation is making waves with the media.
The fact is, Millennials would rather spend their hard earned money on experiences rather than material things, (which sounds pretty cool to us!). Statistics also show that many Millennials make travel their top priority, giving way to the new term “bleisure” (mixing business trips with leisure). And why not?!
So whether you are a Millennial coming to the Alpena area for “bleisure”, vacation, or a quick pit stop; here are the top Alpena experiences Millennials love- by land, by water, and the night sky above.
Miles and miles of trails are just waiting to be explored in Alpena. There is a different trail for every personality and every preference. Looking for an adrenaline rush? We recommend biking through the single-track at Chippewa Hills Pathway or around the quarry rim at Rockport State Recreation Area…neither are for the novice! Looking for a relaxed a quiet ride in a wooded country setting? Norway Ridge is the serene option for a quick trip. Looking to explore the city? The paved Alpena Bi-Path is a leisurely trail perfect for cruising throughout Alpena. All options provide the ideal setting for any Millennial looking for trail riding experience, nature photography, and Go-Pro action shots.
Alpena is a one-stop-shop for finding your blue space adventure. A pristine place for all your kayaking, snorkeling, and paddle boarding needs. We don’t call Alpena the”Sanctuary of the Great Lakes” for nothing! Paddle your kayak through the Wildlife Sanctuary at Duck Park/Island Park on the Thunder Bay River. Be sure to pack your smartphone or camera in waterproof casing, as this serene waterway will an abundance of photo-ops in nature and architecture. Kayak under our newly constructed covered bridge made of hand-hewn wood, and through the intricate pattern the river weaves, perfect for snapping pics of waterfowl and selfies.
Nothing says ‘Pure Michigan adventure’ like snorkeling our great shipwrecks in the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. There are several shipwrecks right off the coast of Alpena in shallow water, making it easy to snorkel or dive. A buoy off of Thomson’s Beach marks the
Shamrock, which was wrecked in 1905. Sitting in 11 ft. of water, the Shamrock is fairly easy to snorkel or dive. Don’t forget your GoPro or any other waterproof camera, as you will not want to miss this rare photo opportunity of you and your friends! Last, but certainly not least, paddle boarding. There are many blue spaces in our area to acquaint yourself with stand up paddleboarding, but the shores of Lake Huron at Mich-E-Ke-Wis are perfect on a calm day for the novice SUP’er. If bigger waves are more your thing, just head out further into the big lake…with caution and a life jacket of course. Don’t forget to strap that camera on your board as well, there’s really nothing like footage of waves rushing the front of a paddleboard or on a board above the shipwrecks on a calm, clear day!
Light therapy is unique to the Alpena area. It’s the only place in Michigan with not one, not two, but three designated dark sky parks in the region! These parks are far away from the harsh effects of artificial light pollution, which disturb the night sky above and tarnish aesthetic environments. If you have a telescope, this would be the perfect opportunity to bring it out and observe the rings of Saturn and our nearby neighbors of Venus and Mars. However, telescopes are only a bonus and not required. You’ll find that simply laying out a blanket and relaxing under a billion and one stars is more than enough to make you feel light-years away from work and responsibilities. Official dark sky preserves centrally located to Alpena are Negwegon State Park, Rockport State Recreation Area, and Thompson’s Harbor State Park. Download our dark sky preserve parks adventure guide HERE.
**All photos used in this blog are courtesy of Heather Chojnacki and Paul Gerow. Heather and Paul love to find adventure at every turn and in every season in their hometown of Alpena, MI. Spring, summer, fall, or winter, you will find this young couple biking, hiking, snowshoeing, or snorkeling shipwrecks; making the most out of everything Alpena has to offer and never taking the beauty of our Sanctuary of the Great Lakes for granted! A big THANK YOU to Heather and Paul (and their dog Canon, too!) for capturing the charm and grace of Alpena and for allowing us to share your adventures and remarkable photography with the world!**